Meet the Correspondent: Marina Grechanik > Tel-Aviv, Israel$show=/search/label/Marina%20Grechanik

"Sketching is one of my passions. I don't feel comfortable when I leave home without a sketchbook and some pens in my bag. I think that my way to put things in my memory is to draw them. And taking pictures isn't the same thing.

I live in a very dynamic surrounding — Israel is a warm country with warm weather and warm people. Of course, we have seashores, which calm us a little bit. I love to sit in a corner of some Tel-Aviv coffee shop and explore relationships: between people, their environment, between myself. All this unique local mix of cultures, languages and styles is always a great source for inspiration. You need to be fast, because, as I said, everything is very dynamic. But that's why I love it so much.

Sometimes, I look around, and I find some usual items like sugar bags or napkins. I use them in my drawings to show the atmosphere. Sometimes I draw directly on placemats."

• Marina's art on Flickr.
• Marina's website.

Meet the Correspondent: Tina Koyama > Seattle$show=/search/label/tina%20koyama

"The dictionary says that a hobby is “an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation.” Although urban sketching certainly provides both pleasure and relaxation, I don’t think of it as my hobby. I think of it more as a way of life – something that has become such a normal part of my everydayness that it shapes how I view the world.

For most of my life I had both the fear of drawing as well as the desire to draw. In 2011, inspired by Gabi Campanario’s Seattle Sketcher column, I finally decided to overcome the fear. His drawings of Seattle – my birthplace and lifelong home – were of sights that I had seen many times, yet had never truly seen. I wanted to learn to see, and therefore experience, those locations (and any new ones that I travel to) more completely. Part 8 of the Urban Sketchers Manifesto, to “show the world, one drawing at a time,” has a flip side: Sketching enables me to see my own world, one drawing at a time.

In the last four years, it is not an exaggeration to say that Urban Sketchers has changed my life. I have met and sketched with many wonderful people around the globe, either at symposiums or during other travel, because the USk network brought us together. I sketch almost weekly with my local group, sharing sketches, art supplies and friendship. Even when I stay home and enjoy sketches online, I am still a part of that rich network, learning with every sketch about other people’s lives.

In May, my husband Greg and I went to France for the first time, and I sketched the Eiffel Tower. Sketching one of the world’s most famous icons felt like a dream come true – the ultimate in urban sketching. But although I can’t resist sketching world-famous icons whenever I’m fortunate enough to see them, for me, urban sketching is much more than that.

Urban sketching is a tree with its middle chopped away to accommodate Seattle’s ubiquitous power lines. It’s about a couple of women chatting over coffee, or about workers roofing the house next door. It’s about an excavator filling a hole where a cherry tree once stood. Or the Tibetan monastery I drive by frequently that I couldn’t resist because it’s bright orange. Urban sketching is a string band performing at a local farmers’ market – or perhaps in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Celebrating the mundane as well as the famous is what urban sketching is all about. My sketches are not necessarily about “special” moments; they are moments made special because I sketched them."

Tina has been editor of Drawing Attention since 2013 and now serves on the Urban Sketchers editorial board. See more of her sketches on her blog, on Flickr and on Instagram.

Meet the Correspondent: Pete Scully > Davis, Calif.$show=/search/label/Pete%20Scully

"I am from urban north London, but now live in urbane Davis California. I sketch, I write, sometimes do things and go places and my name is Pete.

When not Davis, I sketch Sacramento, San Francisco, London, or anywhere else I happen to be. I tend to erase people and cars from my cities, but I'm starting to get over this.

Davis: calm, old-fashioned, progressive, quirky, very very hot in the summer. I use micron and copic pens, with watercolour."

• Pete's blog.
• Pete's art on Flickr.

Meet the Correspondent: Suhita Shirodkar > San Jose, Calif.$show=/search/label/Suhita%20Shirodkar

"I was born in Mumbai (Bombay) and lived in different parts of India until I moved to San Jose, California, where I now live.

Travel inspires my art, but, traveling or not, I try to view the world around me as a traveller would; so whether I’m capturing a moment of calm on the banks of the Ganges in India, or sketching over coffee at my local coffee shop, I aim to look deeply, and with wonder, at both the everyday and the exotic, the old and the new.

I love color. My sketch kit consists of Extra Fine Sharpies (the fact that they bleed into the paper as soon as they touch it works really well for me—it forces me to work super-quick), a small set of Prismacolor pencils and a little watercolor travel set".

Meet the Correspondent: Omar Jaramillo > Berlin$show=/search/label/Omar%20Jaramillo

"I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where I studied architecture. I moved to Kassel (Germany) in 1999 to accomplish a master degree. Although I have always drawn and paint, it was not until I started studying in the Uni-Kassel, that I started keeping a travel sketchbook. I had a teacher there who used to do a lot of sketches when he travelled on university excursions. When he retired, I helped to organize an exhibition of his sketches. He brought a huge box full of sketchbooks he had filled since he was an architecture student. I spent a whole day selecting the most interesting drawings. It was a wonderful experience that opened my eyes to a new world. In the last 10 years I have the feeling of being in a long journey. I like to discover the cities where I live, to understand why a place is the way it is and what makes it different and unique from others. Drawing is for me a way to learn to love a place, to become part of it. I like to draw architecture but I am more attracted to urban scenery, portraying how people live in the city. Since I’m a foreigner, everything that locals find normal and taken-for-granted, for me is exotic. I always carry a small watercolor travel set from Windsor and Newton and my sketchbook in my bag. I always thought that drawing was a solitary experience until I found Urban Sketchers. It was amazing to find so many people doing the same thing. It is a great place to share!" • Omar's blog. • Omar's art on flickr. • Omar's website.

Meet the Correspondent: Luis Ruiz > Malaga, Spain$show=/search/label/Luis%20Ruiz

Symposium Thank-You Notes

It’s been a month since the 2016 Urban Sketchers Symposium in Manchester, England. The event took place from July 27 to 30 and was attended by over 470 sketchers, and it was a big success, which we know because the USk Manchester 2016 Facebook group page has been filled with messages of thanks to the Local Host, Simone Ridyard.

The Symposium International Team takes care of recurring tasks such as registration, communications, and the Symposium site, and works closely with the Local Host who takes care of all local issues, including finding locations to hold workshops, demonstrations, lectures, and sketch crawls; planning the opening and closing receptions; and doing things totally unrelated to sketching, such as finding the best local source for lanyards.

As you can see in the notes of appreciation collected below, Simone went above and beyond these duties, and involved her friends and family and favorite locations, making us all feel at home and causing us to fall in love with Manchester. Thank you Simone from Urban Sketchers, and from urban sketchers everywhere!

"On behalf of the Manchester group I would like to say MASSIVE thanks to Simone Ridyard for everything she has done over the last year to bring the symposium to Manchester. We could not have imagined what a huge success it would be... I have LOVED every minute spent with such a wonderful group of people. THANK YOU."
Julie Scott, UK (Julie's sketch above)

"Thank you to all the delegates who came to Manchester and gave the city a taste of international urban sketching. Thanks to Simone Ridyard, for allowing me the privilege of being a volunteer."
Mike Dodds, UK

"Dear Simone,
I couldn't thank you and your wonderful team enough for all that you did for this year's Symposium, and for sharing your wonderful city with us. Every symposium and city is different and wonderful so it's hard to compare them, but I have to say no city has surprised me (in the best possible way) like Manchester did. Its history, its walkable scale, and the friendliness of the locals, all so very wonderful.
Thank you again, to all of you, for having worked so hard to create an experience that so many of us will carry around with us for always."
Suhita Shirodkar, USA

"On behalf of all of us USk chapters from Asia (Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore), congratulations and a gigantic THANK YOU to Simone, USkManchester team, and the International Symposium team for an unforgettable experience you've given us all!
You guys did a SUPER JOB!"
Patrick Ng, Singapore

“Big thank you, Simone.”
Ch’ng Kiah Kiean, Malaysia

"On the last leg of my train back home after the most fantastic week #uskmanchester2016 made possible thanks to the incredible Simone Ridyard with help from volunteers (thank you)..."
Isabel Carmona, UK

"To the city of Manchester, the people, the organisers (big shout out to Simone), the sketchers, and to everyone I met, thank you so much for an amazing experience, it was truly brilliant..."
Richard Briggs, Australia

"Thank you Manchester and most of all thank you Simone Ridyard."
Liz Ackerley, UK

"Big thank you to Simone Ridyard and the local team, and to the global symposium team. Such a privilege to be a small part of a fantastic symposium. Thank you all."
Sue Pownall, UK

"Dammit, that was a good few days. The names and faces on my FB pages have now become real people I've met, laughed, drank and drawn with. Thanks again to Simone and the team, friends old and new, and to the great city of Manchester."
James Hobbs, UK

"Sharing my sketches from Symposium week and a huge huge thank you to our hardworking organisers and Simone Ridyard, in particular for her tireless energy, enthusiasm, approachability and efficiency. What a build up it was. It must have felt to have gone on forever, keeping all the behind the scenes tasks moving forward, like pieces of a jigsaw. Then coming in like the cavalry, our wonderful team of ever cheerful volunteers. You all did us proud. Manchester did us proud. It was incredible and all we'd hoped. Thank you!"
Pat Southern-Pearce, UK

"It has been a wonderful trip for us and thank you Simone and her team for a fantastic job."
Francis Theo, Singapore

"I am still living in the magic and dreams of the 7th International Urban Sketchers Symposium in Manchester... Thank you so much to the amazing Simone Ridyard and the entire team for bringing the symposium to Manchester and turning it into the experience of a life time..."
Nouha Hansen, UK

"Many thanks to Simone Ridyard, the symposium team and the executive board for an amazing four days!"
Tina Koyama, USA

"Thanks Simone Ridyard for this fantastic symposium."
Delphine Priollaud-Stoclet, France

"My contribution during these unforgettable days in Manchester. Many many thanks to Simone and all the crew of organizers for their warm welcome."
Vincent Desplanche, France

"Well, I have to say that was the most fun I've had in a long time. This was my first symposium and it became clear to me early on what a unique event it is. Simply being able to meet so many people from the host of nations that make up the Urban Sketching community proved, for myself at least, to be a particularly valuable experience - I learned a great deal. So many thanks to Simone and all the others that made this singular event possible and such a resounding success!"
Paul Sinton, UK

"Thank you so much to all the Manchester's symposium team and Simone. You made an exceptional event, in your beautiful town of Manchester! I loved it all!"
Juliette Plisson, France

"What an awesome symposium! So nice to meet all of you in beautiful Manchester. Thank you everyone, especially the symposium team and Simone Ridyard!"
LK Bing, Indonesia

"What a wonderful experience! Thank you to Simone Ridyard and the rest of the team, especially the terrific volunteers..."
Dr. Jane Fraser, UK

"Thanks to our fine Mancunian hosts, and especially Simone Ridyard. Their hard work made it possible for nearly 500 sketchers from almost 40 countries to meet, sketch, and share their love of urban sketching. Cheers!"
Jessie Chapman, USA

"Thank you to Simone Ridyard, all instructors, volunteers, fellow urban sketchers, the people of Manchester and new friends for making #uskmanchester2016 unforgettable..."
Ruud Otten, Netherlands

"Thanks Simone and all the team for the fantastic Symposium! Manchester is such a beautiful city!"
Maria Fernanda da Silva Lamelas, Portugal

"Back home and still full of fine feelings after the wonderful Symposium. Many thanks to Simone and all the team for their time and enthusiasm, and to everyone who attended for creating such a democratic and caring environment where we could all share and celebrate our lovely hobby!"
Ed Mostly, UK

"Wow! Today was amazing!! What a life affirming event!!! What a privilege to be part of such a wonderful group of talented, lovely multinational people... Thank you everyone, from all parts of the world, for coming to Manchester! Thank you Simone and the team...!"
Ian Hill, UK

"The Manchester USk Symposium was one of the most exhilarating and life affirming experiences I have ever had. Thank you so much to Simone Ridyard for putting it together and for working so hard to make it such a successful event!"
Lynne McPeake, UK

"Thank you Simone Ridyard and the wonderful team of Manchester volunteers, for working your socks off and making us so welcome and looked after. I've had the most fantastic fun, met wonderful people, been inspired, forged new friendships and renewed old ones, learnt so much - and oh yes, there was some sketching too! Manchester, you were amazing."
Jules Woolford, UK

"I met Simone the first time in Hong Kong before Singapore Symposium 2015. I have been a big follower of her works and read thru her lines all the time. Without her initiation on hosting the Symposium in Manchester, I don't think I have a better reason to visit there (since I am a Chelsea fan).  Thank you Simone for bringing us to her hometown, showing us where she sketch her lines and gave us so much great memories.  Except the rains, I love everything happened in late July 2016.
Big Thanks to the Coolest Lady in Manchester!"
Alvin Wong, Hong Kong 





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